Spiritual Adulthood

Those occasions when we mature into spiritual adulthood There are those times in our lives when God seems distant, even absent from us. These are usually times when our faith seems weak and we struggle to believe God really cares for us, or perhaps we begin to question whether God even exists. In Western Christian tradition these moments are often…

Dealing with Disappointment

We must build our endurance and confidence “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (Hebrews 10:35-36)” When we find ourselves caught up in what we want, or what we think we need, we become despondent…

Our Patronal Feast

The Feast Day of the Holy Brotherhood of the All-Merciful Saviour Today our brotherhood celebrates the Patronal Feast of our monastery. Thirty-four years ago the beloved and ever memorable Archimandrite Dimitri (Egoroff) of Santa Rosa, CA tonsured Father Paul and me as Orthodox monks, having embraced Orthodoxy after many years as monks in the Eastern Catholic Church. Guided and inspired…

Hollow Orthodoxy

Taking Orthodoxy beyond the self-congratulatory We must guard against noticing when another parishioner seems careless in the making of the sign of the cross, while we go about demonstrating for all around us, the proper way. Making sweeping signs of the cross that are done in such a way as to be almost a caricature, following up with profound bows,…

Teaching Children to Love God

Children learn love of God by the example of their parents Every Orthodox parent wants their children to grow up attending Sunday Liturgies and staying active in the life of the Church throughout their lives. Yet many parents don’t demonstrate the importance of having a personal relationship with God in front of their children. If you do not make God…

Bashing Heads

Troublesome passages of the Old Testament It is important when reading the Old Testament, to remember that it was written as an account of a people’s journey to God. As the Israelites’ journey continued, they came to know God, little by little, through God’s self-revelation to their prophets, and their understanding of God expanded. Christ, as the Logos (the Word…

Complaining

Complaining keeps our heart from soaring to the heavens If we are always complaining about how unfairly we are treated, we will have failed in our imitation of Christ, Who was abused by His enemies unto death. We should strive to reign with Our Lord by loving our enemies and never complaining. Like Christ, we should look towards Our Heavenly…

Absolute Truth

Embracing Absolute Truth In an age when many people think truth is relative, the knowledge that there is such a thing as absolute truth, is comforting. The freedom that comes with the knowledge that we are able to embrace teachings that are a continuation of an unbroken line dating back to Apostolic times, is liberating. As Orthodox Christians, we are…

The First Step

The journey to God begins with the first step The spiritual struggle that is required of us can not depend on having a spiritual father. Most Orthodox Christians do not have one, and the average parish priest is not equipped, either with the time, nor the inclination, to take on the role of spiritual father to members of his flock.…

The Chaplain

A monastic as a police and fire chaplain It has been a great blessing for me to have been serving as a police and fire chaplain for the past eighteen years. My interest in chaplaincy began when I was asked by a number of inmates to serve as their Orthodox chaplain in one of the state’s prisons. Spending one full…

The Holy Oblation

The place where heaven and earth are united As a priest, I bear the awesome burden of offering the Holy Oblation before the Throne of God, on behalf of all the people whose names are submitted to the monastery, and who are Orthodox. I offer for my spiritual children, and even for the whole world. I commemorate my own beloved…

Standing in Worship

The Orthodox practice of standing for worship Standing before God has been the only acceptable posture for Orthodox Christians from the earliest of times. We recognize that a faithful servant would never sit before his master, for the faithful are all servants of the Lord, whom we worship as we stand in our temples. The Holy Apostle Paul tells us,…